By: Matthias Baudinet
On the 28th of July 1914, the Great War began in Europe and an unprecedented catastrophe took place on the European continent. With over 40 million casualties in total throughout the war, this terrible event is one of the bloodiest wars in history. As young men from European countries embarked on what they thought would be a honorable and patriotic duty for their country, mothers and fathers waved goodbye to their sons for the very last time.
As the war raged on for four years, the death tolls kept rising as the leaders of each country involved blindly sent in their troops on suicide missions. The young men of a generation were almost all wiped out in Europe. As the war was reaching an end, many soldiers on both sides were really starting to wonder what this war was even about, and why were they sent to their deaths in the first place? Why are they being forced to live in horrible conditions?
As European cities were crumbling down and reduced to ruins, civilians also began to pay a heavy price in this war. Finally, with the help of the Americans, the allies were given a last final push to finally overcome the Germans and Austrians and Ottomans. The American doughboys were praised in Europe for bringing in fresh legs, as both sides were worn out from the devastation of the previous 3 years.
As the survivors began their long and sad march back home, they were given a heroes welcome. But that did not compensate for loss of their brothers that they witnessed fall right by their side. Once the war ended, many called this Great War the war to end all wars. Unfortunately, man did not learn his lesson and war would soon ravage Europe (and the world) once again. A hundred years later, it is important that we remember the brave souls that gave their lives for the freedom of others. Hundred years later, mankind still faces many problems that were present in 1914…
This centennial, I remember the men who marched into hell and stood face-to-face with the devil. I honor them for the courage they had to live through rat-infested, and disease-infested mud-trenches. I also feel sorry for the fact that they had to do the bidding of their idiot superiors, and paid the ultimate price for those idiot decisions.
Thank you soldiers of World War I.